Many notarial records are unindexed and can be time-consuming to go through. But notarial records were often created because of a life event that we can find in other sources. In a small town with just one or two notaries, it can pay off to browse the notarial records around that time. In towns without a notary, these types of records can be found in the series of voluntary court records.
Examples of life events that may have created notarial records:
- Marriages: prenuptual agreements, settlements with children from prior marriage.
- Deaths: last wills, estate divisions, guardianship appointments of children, property sales.
- Emigration: last wills, property sales, powers of attorney, work contracts with overseas employer.